The Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva and head of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot, Rabbi Haim Drukman, who is one of the more senior spiritual leaders of the knitted yarmulke public in Israel, on Thursday wrote: “You should make minyanim (a quorum of ten) in private homes, let just ten men gather in each house and pray,” Kipa reported.
At the same time, Rabbi Druckman stressed that “obeying the instructions of health officials is very important, and it is inconceivable that people would act on their own regarding public health.”
“At the same time, we do not have to go further than the health ministry’s directives when it comes to religious matters,” he continued. “If there were an order from the health ministry not to leave the house – we wouldn’t have instructed people to leave their homes to pray in a minyan. But since there is no such directive, and since for certain events, such as weddings, a crowd of up to ten people has been allowed, there is no reason not to pray with ten.”
Rabbi Druckman pointed out that the Rami Levy supermarket chain has permitted as many as 100 shoppers at one time.
Tzohar affiliated Rabbi Eliezer Melamed and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner instructed religious Jews not to attend minyan services following the coronavirus epidemic.
As to the Kabbalat Shabbat and the Shabbat evening prayer, Rabbi Druckman wrote, “In no way should there be a crowded service in the synagogue. There should be minyanim in private homes, ten men in each house. In the synagogue, too, there can be a quorum of ten.”
Rabbi Druckman concluded: “What we’re saying sits well with people’s feelings. Telling them, ‘Stay home,’ does not make them feel better in this reality. May God grant us all firm health and may we soon merit to pray with all the people of Israel in one minyan.”